Berlin, 16 March 2023. The Federal Administrative Court has ruled that the order of trusteeship over Rosneft Deutschland GmbH (RDG) and Rosneft Refining and Marketing GmbH (RNRM) is lawful. This means that the first dispute surrounding this key instrument for ensuring energy security has ended with a final and effective ruling in favour of the German government. Redeker Sellner Dahs acted as counsel for the Federal Republic of Germany in the proceedings.
The two German subsidiaries of the Rosneft Group plaintiffs, which are based in Luxembourg and Moscow, hold shares inter alia in PCK‑Raffinerie GmbH in Schwedt/Oder. This enterprise ensures the basic supply of petroleum products to northeastern Germany, supplying among other parties Berlin Airport. In an official notice issued on 14 September 2022, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) ordered the voting rights from the shares in RDG and RNRM to be placed under trusteeship by 15 March 2023 in accordance with Section 17 of the German Energy Conservation Act (Energiesicherungsgesetz). During the period of trusteeship, the applicants' voting rights are to be exercised by the Federal Network Agency. The Rosneft Group challenged this before the Federal Administrative Court with an action for annulment. The 8th Senate of the Federal Administrative Court dismissed the actions after a four‑day hearing, holding that the trusteeship order had been issued in a lawful manner in formal and substantive terms. In particular, it ruled, there had been a concrete danger in September 2022 that RDG and RNRM would no longer be able to contribute their previous share of the energy supply without trusteeship.
Acting as counsel for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection in the proceedings were Redeker lawyers Dr Ulrich Karpenstein, Dr Christian Johann, Dr Roya Sangi, Máster en Filosofía Política and Dr Tobias Masing.
Dr. Ulrich Karpenstein commented on the court's decision as follows: “We are pleased with this judgement, which was handed down after extensive written preparation as well as an extraordinarily intensive hearing, including several days of evidence‑taking. The administrative and judicial proceedings both demonstrate that rule‑of‑law principles and international law can be upheld without making compromises even in times of crisis.”